Cleardata invests over 1 million pounds for growth

Cleardata has invested £1.1 million in new buildings and intelligent, scalable, document capture technology from Kodak Alaris. The investment has seen the Blyth-headquartered firm open two new facilities, create up to 70 new jobs, and expand its production scanner fleet.


Cleardata had a clearly defined business expansion strategy. The document management company was looking to open an additional two units, increasing its presence on the Riverside Business Park in Blyth to more than 52,000 square feet, and needed to further boost its production armoury to deliver additional capability.

The investment in buildings and capture technology is an essential part of the firm’s plan to accelerate growth, and support a scanning contract worth over £10 million, awarded by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The project will see Cleardata convert more than 1.2 million traditional paper records into digital versions over a three-year period, in line with the NHS digital transformation plan.


Cleardata turned to Kodak Alaris for advice on the latest capture technology. In a first round of investment, the company, which is the largest single-site user of scanners from Kodak Alaris in the UKdoubled its capability with the addition of several new KODAK i5850S Scanners and the ibml FUSiON document capture platform, supplied by Kodak Alaris, ibml’s lead distribution partner in the region.

Phase two of the technology investment programme has seen Cleardata, the first UK company to install the ibml FUSiON ultra-high volume scanner, add a further two FUSiON scanners to its armoury.


The scanning bureau has worked in partnership with Kodak Alaris for 15 years. “We have continued to invest in high-volume capture solutions from Kodak Alaris to optimize our operations, boost our capability, improve productivity and offer higher value services,” Managing Director David Bryce, explained.

“We handle lots of different document types, on mixed media and with varying levels of quality. Scanners from Kodak Alaris have never let us down in terms of image quality, reliability and throughput, so we have never considered an alternative capture platform,” he added.

“Our long-standing relationship with Kodak Alaris and trust in their expertise, meant we were open to having a look at the FUSiON document capture platform as a complementary technology, and we were not disappointed.”

Cleardata visited the Kodak Alaris showroom and ran a number of test jobs through the ibml FUSiON scanner. “The technology is superb, we were extremely impressed both in terms of performance and the platform’s ability to handle many different document types. Of particular note is the ibml iQpro image processing technology which optimizes image capture for better accuracy of data extraction from images. After using the platform for a few months, we had no hesitation in investing in a further two FUSiON scanners,” Bryce added.

Being awarded the contract to digitize millions of patient records for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals and community services in the county as well as North Tyneside, is a major accolade for the firm.

“We were absolutely delighted to win this digitisation project for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. This is a record contract for Cleardata and I’m so very proud of our business growth and the whole team,” Bryce said.

The project will enhance patient care by removing the requirement to transport paper-based files across multiple locations. Clinicians will be able to access records across the Trust’s sites and share information easily in real-time. Once scanned, the patient record will be viewed by Northumbria clinicians on a next-generation electronic document management solution provided by IMMJ Systems. The system, MediViewer, has been specifically built for UK healthcare trusts and clinicians will be able to use SmartIndex technology which makes the patient record easy to view and search.

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The digitisation process is in what Bryce calls the ‘ramp-up’ phase. “We are using the FUSiON scanners to conduct both back-scanning and day forward scanning and we expect activity to peak at 12 million images a month,” he explained, adding: “The majority of documents are what we would deem ‘imperfect’ and as such we are running the FUSiON scanners at less than full rated speed, however the throughput and quality is outstanding. Whilst we are still at the very early stage and are not yet running at full capacity, we expect to achieve a very strong return on investment.”

The contract win also provides a jobs boost for Northumberland, with Cleardata providing up to 70 full and part-time roles, including opportunities through the Government’s Kick Start Scheme, Traineeship Programme and Sector-Based Work Academies.

Bryce continued: “We’ve worked with Kodak Alaris for a long time and have always been impressed not only with the high product quality, but also with the excellent service we receive.”

COVID-19 has been a catalyst for transforming the public sector’s digital infrastructure and accelerating digital transformation has become an increasingly important area of focus. Cleardata features on a number of frameworks including Crown Commercial Service (CCS), NHS Shared Business Services (SBS), and NHS England’s Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS).This latest technology refresh combined with the opening of two additional units in Blyth, strongly positions the company to win new opportunities in the sector.

“Leveraging the very latest and best technology is key to being able to differentiate in an increasingly competitive marketplace, our commitment to ongoing investment sets us apart and makes it easy for our customers to make the decision to go with Cleardata,” Bryce commented.

“This strategic investment has placed our scanning bureau at the forefront of the digitisation and document management industry and will be a game-changer for the business. The FUSiON platform perfectly complements the scanners from Kodak Alaris that we use within our scanning bureau and digital mailroom services division. We’re really confident that this latest investment will help us take the business to the next level,” he concluded.

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